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Land of Enchantment Fishing & Hunting Adventures


White and Striped Bass Fishing Elephant Butte Striped Bass Fishing

Watch the action of gulls or other fish-eating birds at a reservoir. Check out where they're surface feeding on small fish. Where gulls are feeding, there will be schools of white bass as well. Try 'jump fishing': get to the action area quickly, throttle back upwind, shut off the motor, and drift down through surfacing fish.

Once you make a catch at a school of surface-feeding bass, try again and again. Such feeding eruptions last only a short time, usually in late afternoon or early morning, especially in late summer and early fall.

Medium-to-light action spinning and bait-casting gear are good choices for white bass fishing.

Best times to fish for stripers and white bass: daytime from late fall through early spring; late evening through first light in summer.

Use jigs or crank baits in spring and summer, baitfish in fall, using a heavy rod and line. Live shad is a good, all-around bait.

Striped bass that are near structure (submerged trees, formations) seem to be more active and willing to bite – than stripers that are suspended in mid-depths.

To catch more than one bass at a time, place two or more reflective lures simultaneously on your line at 1 S-inch intervals. Try jigs or jigging spoons.

In reservoirs, look for riprap on shore-lines, rocky points, just off islands, sudden drop-offs, old river channels or sand bars.  In rivers, check out places where streams enter, bridge pilings disrupt current flow, above wing dams, or downstream from a lock and dam.

Use a depth finder to locate schools of bass. They prefer sandy or gravel lake bottoms. No matter where you find them, they aren't going to stay in one place long.



White Bass:

Although white bass spawn very successfully in New Mexico waters (particularly Elephant Butte Lake), 70 of every 100 white bass spawned each year are caught by fishermen or die of natural causes.  The low egg hatching success and high mortality of adults means a great number of eggs must be spawned to ensure good fishing. During mid-April to mid-May, when water temperatures reach 54 to 73 degrees, white bass begin spawning in large reservoirs, where they seek out gravel or rocky bottoms in shallow water upon which to deposit eggs.

Striped Bass:

It is doubtful that striped bass successfully reproduce on their own in New Mexico waters. Because of this, young striped bass are frequently stocked by the Department of Game and Fish at Elephant Butte Lake and Caballo Lake to maintain a population of trophy-sized stripers for anglers.


Learn Fishing Part I

Fishing for White and Striped Bass

Learn Fishing Part III

More White and Striped Bass
Land of Enchantment Fishing & Hunting Adventures
P.O. Box 1336
Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico 87935

Local:      (575) 740-4710