Navigation Home - AA-Fishing Lakes Fish

Fishing Elephant Butte Lake

AKA: The Butte, Elephant Butte Reservoir

Pick A LakePick A SpeciesPick A State

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Elephant Butte Reservoir, NM

Popular Fish Species Elephant Butte Lake, NM

Elephant Butte Lake Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Elephant Butte Lake offers great fishing for largemouth bass. In fact, it is one of Bassmasters' top 10 bass lakes in the Western United States. Lately the fishing here for bass has been outstanding. Plenty of big bass roam the depths of Elephant Butte Lake, thanks to excellent fisheries management by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, as well as the availability of extensive cover for both baitfish and bass. When the bite is good, bass typically move shallow and are quite aggressive. If you find them shallow and they are not tempted to bite, slow down and use smaller, lighter baits. Fishing for largemouth bass is good virtually any time they are shallow - in spring, mornings in summer, and during warm Fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Elephant Butte Lake on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass also reside here in good numbers.

Elephant Butte Lake Popular Fish - Striped Bass

Striped Bass Fishing

The state record striper came out of Elephant Butte Lake, and weighed over 54 pounds. Plenty of big striped bass continue to cruise the lake in search of food, are are being caught with regularity. Due to their large size, striped bass are a favorite of many locals and fishing guides at Elephant Butte Lake. In Spring and Fall work the upper end of the lake where water is flowing into the lake. Look for deeper water in the river channel, as a holding place for stripers. In Summer and Winter, stripers hang out in deeper water during the day and feed close to the bottom, 50 feet or deeper. Morning often draws the stripers to much shallower water, look for them from the surface down to around the 20-foot range as they feed on shallow-running schools of bait. The lake is filled with plenty of baitfish and sunfish to to keep the fishery thriving. Being successful at fishing for stripers is a matter of locating schools of bait, and the wolf packs of stripers which are likely to be nearby. Fish finders, and forward facing sonar, are a big help in locating these roaming schools. Live bait is very effective here, and stripers can be caught year round.

Elephant Butte Lake Popular Fish - White Bass

White Bass Fishing

After several very successful spawn years, white bass are flourishing in Elephant Butte Lake and anglers should expect some great fishing this year. White bass are aggressive, hard-fighting and just plain fun to catch. When fishing for white bass, the average fish is typically in the one- to two-pound range. These schooling fish tend to roam around the lake looking for ideal water conditions and baitfish. Look for them to generally be in 15 to 35 feet of water, whether they are hovering around the bottom or swimming in open water. Fish finders are the best way to locate big schools of white bass. In spring, once the water temperature rises into the mid sixties, they move shallow into the backs of coves and creek channels to spawn. At this time anglers can fish from shore and often do quite well. Use lures that imitate baitfish, including crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and spoons.

Elephant Butte Lake Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill and striped bass at Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico.

With a long-standing reputation for bass and striper fishing, Elephant Butte Lake is a top choice for serious fishing enthusiasts. This 36,000-acre lake is located in the west-central part of the state, at Truth or Consequences.

Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico is a renowned destination for fishing enthusiasts, offering a wide range of fishing opportunities and outdoor activities. The lake is known for its diverse fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, walleye, catfish, and crappie. Anglers can enjoy a variety of fishing techniques and target different species throughout the year.

Largemouth bass are highly sought-after in Elephant Butte Lake, with the lake consistently producing trophy-sized fish. The lake's expansive shoreline, submerged structures, and vegetation provide excellent habitat for these powerful predators. Anglers can use techniques such as casting with jigs, soft plastics, or topwater lures to entice largemouth bass. With careful presentation and persistence, anglers have the opportunity to land impressive bass.

Smallmouth bass are another popular species found in Elephant Butte Lake. These hard-fighting fish inhabit rocky areas, points, and drop-offs. Anglers can target smallmouth bass using techniques such as casting with jigs, crankbaits, or tubes. The lake's structure and clear waters make it an ideal location for smallmouth bass enthusiasts to test their skills.

White bass, known for their schooling behavior and aggressive strikes, are abundant in Elephant Butte Lake. Anglers can enjoy the excitement of catching multiple white bass in a single outing. Casting with jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits near drop-offs, points, or along the shoreline can be effective in enticing these voracious feeders.

Walleye, a prized game fish, can also be found in Elephant Butte Lake. These elusive predators often inhabit deeper areas, particularly around submerged structures and points. Trolling with deep-diving crankbaits or casting with jigs and live bait are popular methods for targeting walleye in the lake.

Catfish are plentiful in Elephant Butte Lake, providing anglers with additional opportunities. Channel catfish and flathead catfish can be caught using various bait presentations such as stink baits, chicken liver, or cut bait. The lake's depths and areas with rocky bottoms or structure attract these bottom-dwelling fish.

Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico provides exceptional fishing opportunities with its diverse fish species and scenic surroundings. Anglers targeting bass, walleye, white bass, catfish, or crappie can enjoy the thrill of the catch while embracing the beauty of the lake and its desert environment. Boating facilities and camping amenities further enhance the outdoor experience, making Elephant Butte Lake a popular destination for anglers and nature enthusiasts seeking a memorable fishing adventure and a serene retreat.

Over 360 miles of shoreline are available to anglers fishing from a boat. For bank fishing from shore, there over a dozen areas with easy access. Quality fishing is available for bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, bluegill and striped bass. Four major boat launch ramps are available to the public. Rental boats are also available at the lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Mexico

Primary fish species residing in Elephant Butte Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Bluegill White Bass Striped bass

Elephant Butte Reservoir Amenities

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

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Elephant Butte Lake, with multiple boat ramps available for easy access to the water. Anglers can navigate the lake's vast expanse, explore different 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

Marina Del Sur
Rentals: Pontoon boats
575 744-5567

Sports Adventure
Rentals: Pontoon boats
575 744-5557

Zia Kayak Outfitters
Rentals: Kayaks
575 744-4185

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Dam Site Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Dam Site Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Ridge Road, this is a six-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Rock Canyon Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Ramp Road, this is a four -lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking

South Monticello Point Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, off Monticello Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Dam Site Lodging & Marina
55 Damsite Road
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901
575 894-2041

Marina Del Sur
101 South Highway 195
Elephant Butte, NM 87935
575 744-5567

Rock Canyon Marina
3310 Rock Canyon Rd
Elephant Butte, NM 87935
575 518-4091

Fishing Guides On Elephant Butte Lake, NM

Dave's Fishing Guide Services - catfish, bass

Frank Vilorio, Fishing Guide - striped bass

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

Fishing License

Click here for a New Mexico Fishing License.

For those looking to extend their stay, Elephant Butte Lake offers camping facilities. Campers can set up their tents or park their RVs in designated campgrounds, immersing themselves in the natural beauty and peaceful ambiance of the lake. Camping allows visitors to enjoy evenings under the starry sky, gather around campfires, and relax in the serenity of the outdoors.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Elephant Butte Lake State Park Campground - 575 744-5923

Enchanted View Campground - 575 744-5876

Agua Vista RV Park - 505 250-2539

Cedar Cove RV Park - 575 744-4472

Rio Lago RV Park - 575 740-2719

Elephant Butte Lake RV Resort - 575 744-5996

South Monticello Campground - 575 744-5923

Elephant Butte Lake NM Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
101 NM-195
Elephant Butte, NM 87935
575 744-5923


Fishing lakes in each state.

AL Fishing Lakes AR Fishing Lakes AZ Fishing Lakes CA Fishing Lakes CO Fishing Lakes CT Fishing Lakes DC Fishing Lakes DE Fishing Lakes FL Fishing Lakes GA Fishing Lakes HI Fishing Lakes IA Fishing Lakes ID Fishing Lakes
IL Fishing Lakes IN Fishing Lakes KS Fishing Lakes KY Fishing Lakes LA Fishing Lakes MA Fishing Lakes MD Fishing Lakes ME Fishing Lakes MI Fishing Lakes MN Fishing Lakes MO Fishing Lakes MS Fishing Lakes MT Fishing Lakes
NC Fishing Lakes ND Fishing Lakes NE Fishing Lakes NH Fishing Lakes NJ Fishing Lakes NM Fishing Lakes NV Fishing Lakes NY Fishing Lakes OH Fishing Lakes OK Fishing Lakes OR Fishing Lakes PA Fishing Lakes
RI Fishing Lakes SC Fishing Lakes SD Fishing Lakes TN Fishing Lakes TX Fishing Lakes UT Fishing Lakes VA Fishing Lakes VT Fishing Lakes WA Fishing Lakes WI Fishing Lakes WV Fishing Lakes WY Fishing Lakes