Your Best Spring Fishing in New Mexico

Your Best Spring Fishing in New Mexico
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

When it comes to spring fishing in New Mexico, bass and trout fishing are your best bets. Here are the places you want to hit  and what tactics to use.

March, April & May

If your dream is to spend time tossing tiny flies to large rainbows, then you should make plans to spend a few days on the famed San Juan River; it just might be the best trout tailwater in the southwest. This Land of Enchantment jewel begins below Navajo Dam in northwest New Mexico, and rumor has it there are as many as 75,000 trout roaming throughout the first four-mile section of quality water below the dam. With spots along this section affectionately called Caddis Corner, Texas Hole, Lunker Alley, Baetis Bend and Frustration Point, it's easy to believe that such a large number of trout swim these waters.


Needless to say, a fishery of this magnitude does see its share of wading visitors, and there's not too many days, even in Spring, that you are not standing next to another angler at one of its famous runs, riffles or holes. Despite this, catch rates in this stretch are very high, with the latest estimates showing one trout per hour being fooled. Add to this that trout averaging 16 to 17 inches in length, and 20-plus inch brutes are not in short supply, and it's to easy to put the blinders on and forget about the other anglers you'll be sharing the water with. Who knows, you many need some help netting a pig.


These are educated tailrace trout that live in a rich biomass environment, so your drift must be dead and your imitation worthy. Flies need to be small and tippets thin, so don't even think about bringing your size #18 and #20 flies, smaller #24 to #26 patterns are the norm. And if you're not using 6X fluorocarbon tippet or smaller, you might as well stay home. In early spring, midge larvae and pupa patterns always gets their share of looks, as well as leech, scuds, egg and worm imitations. When the calendar flips to April and May, blue-winded olives are added to the meal ticket, and on those perfect cloudy days, be ready for the floaters to be inhaled on top.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

T-REIGN TETHER

www.t-reignoutdoor.com

Anglers like their tools close by. And it's even better if it's connected to you so it doesn't go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.

Suzuki DF15A/20A EFI

www.suzukimarine.com

MSRP: $3,329/$3,738.

Suzuki's two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki's Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.

SCATTER RAP

www.rapala.com

MSRP, $8.99.

Rapala is hoping the new Scatter Rap Series lures and their 'evasive action ' will be as popular as the original 'wounded minnow ' style action that the company is famous for. The new lure has a 'Scatter Lip ' that creates an evasive, erratic, aggressive sweep-ing action. Ideal for multispecies gamefish, the Scatter Rap Series is available in 14-16 classic and new color patterns. Baits 5- to 9-feet deep.

GEAR GRABBAR

www.geargrabbar.com

MSRP, $18.95 per pair.

The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There's enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.

HONDA OUTBOARD

www.marine.honda.com

MSRP, $24,025.

Honda Marine's BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.

TACKLE TOTE VEST

www.fishandhunt.com

MSRP, $19.99.

If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you're standing in deeper waters. It's adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.

FLEX 'N GO TACKLE SATCHEL

www.planoMolding.com

MSRP, $24.99-$29.99.

On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano's new Flex 'N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.

CABELA'S RAINGEAR

www.cabelas.com

Jackets MSRP, $249.99-$269;
Bibs, $229.99-$249.99.

Cabela's Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.

BERKLEY JAR BAIT FOLDER

www.berkley-fishing.com

MSRP, $14.99-$19.99.

Anglers who use jar baits know it's a pain to carry more than a few. Berk-ley now has two Jar Bait Folders to keep the baits at hand and make them easy to transport. Model 1170 holds 10 jars. Model 1490 holds 16. Both have various pockets and a D-ring for pliers.

BERKLEY TRILENE XL

www.berkley-fishing.com

Berkley says they've improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.

AV MICRO

www.Aquavu.com

MSRP, $299.

The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.

SMITHWICK ROGUE

www.smithwick-lures.com

MSRP, $6.99.

Smithwick Rogue's has been a stand-ard in bass-anglers' tackle boxes for years. Now they've got a new twist on the famous jerkbait. The Perfect 10 Rogue has a new lip de-sign, to get deeper, quicker than other jerkbaits.

SIMMS WEATHER GEAR

www.simmsfishing.com

MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.

Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Portable Hornady Rapid Safes - Security on the Water

Portable Hornady Rapid Safes - Security on the Water

Hornady Security has a new line of portable safes with applications for anglers who want to have a firearm on board their boats, just in case.

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

Lure Lock Deep and Thin Boxes

Lure Lock Deep and Thin Boxes

In this video, TakLogic president John Skrabo chats with Game & Fish's Dr. Todd A. Kuhn about what's new in the Lure Lock line. And see how the TakLogic gel will even keep a cell phone in place.

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

Quick and easy Neko and whacky rigging; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade show. ICAST

New Freshwater Soft Lures from ICAST 2020

Game & Fish Staff - July 20, 2020

From jigs to swimbaits, there are lots of great new choices unveiled at virtual fishing trade...

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage. ICAST

ICAST 2020: New Tackle-Management Systems

Game & Fish Staff - July 16, 2020

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage.

A quick look at offerings from SPRO for 2020-21. Baits & Lures

New from ICAST: Rattle Little John; Essential Series

Game & Fish Staff - July 13, 2020

A quick look at offerings from SPRO for 2020-21.

See More Trending Articles

More Other Freshwater

Manufacturers are always hard at work developing new products to make things easier for anglers on the ice. Other Freshwater

Ice-Fishing Gear Must-Haves

Drew Warden - January 28, 2020

Manufacturers are always hard at work developing new products to make things easier for...

Catching winter walleyes often requires mobility and a willingness to adjust tactics. Other Freshwater

Hardwater Handbook: Ice-Fishing Adaptations

Mark Romanack - January 28, 2020

Catching winter walleyes often requires mobility and a willingness to adjust tactics.

Advancements in anchor systems, electronics and trolling motors have made fishing boat control easier than ever. Boats

Boat Control at the Push of a Button

Dr. Jason A. Halfen - June 04, 2020

Advancements in anchor systems, electronics and trolling motors have made fishing boat control...

With the latest giant weighing in at 151.9 pounds, Oklahoma's Keystone Lake is ground zero for record-size paddlefish. Records

World-Record Paddlefish Déjà Vu - Oklahoma Gives Up Another Weighing 151.9 Pounds

Lynn Burkhead - July 24, 2020

With the latest giant weighing in at 151.9 pounds, Oklahoma's Keystone Lake is ground zero for...

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now