Back to Elephant Butte


Went back to Elephant Butte a couple of weekends ago and got the boat wet. It is summer in the southwest and hot as all get out. We decided to show up in the afternoon and fish until late in the night. It was a great strategy. First of all the lake is smaller now. There is less surface area to share with those who are not familiar with fishing. As it became later in the afternoon, there were less and less non fishermen on the lake. Stress levels were much better when we did not have to worry about the jet ski or skier that thought it was cute to pass within 30 feet of a boat that had people casting 50+ feet around it. We found a nice spot with the good old fish finder and put out the lights. Within minutes we had small bait circling the boat. This is where the good news stops because we did not think we would need any bait. We were going to use slabs (a strategy that had worked for me countless times n the past). For the next 5 hours we slabbed our hearts out. It was just not meant to be. I think that if we had some live minnows or shad, we could have slayed them. The finder was full of fish. We could hear them out in the darkness. All night out and no fish.

The next morning we decided to troll a bit. It was a little nerve racking due to the traffic and trying to stay away from the non fishing boaters out there. It did produce fish. We caught quite a few white bass and crappie. All were in the one pound range. They were small but plentiful. This was good for the old ego after the night before. They liked white and silver lures. We fished deep divers and square bills. Shad-raps, Bombers, and Lucky Strike seemed to work best.

A new item on the lake was a great little hamburger hut all the way up to the top of the lake. They had a restaurant on a boat just out there with a sign that said we are open. The burgers were to die for. The buns were fancy. They used green chile and white cheese. They even had a waitress. I wish them best of luck. Great food, nice people and did not have to leave the lake -Thanks!

It truly amazes me that you can find a gourmet hamburger in the strangest places.
At 3% of Capacity
Good Eats On the Lake

1289162135774Elephant Butte is the only lake of any size within 3 hours of El Paso, Texas or Las Cruces, NM.  The lake is fed by the Rio Grande that flows from southwestern Colorado, through New Mexico and down through Texas to the coast.  Elephant Butte is right next to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Fishing this lake for virtually all my life, I have seen it through good and bad times.  You can catch white bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish (channel and blue…I have never seen a flathead there), walleye, black bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and stripers.  My grandfather lived on this lake and fished it for his whole retirement. He would laugh and say that the lake had more diversity of fish in it before they introduced the stripers.  These days there are more white bass and stripers caught than anything else.

Plagued with drought the lake is currently down to about 3 percent of normal lake levels and the fish have become much more concentrated.  The lake is also much more dangerous due to there being many dangers such as barely submerged rocks that have always been submerged 40 or 50 feet before.  I will talk more about this lake in the near future.

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Elephant Butte Lake NM, is down to about 3 % of normal capacity. From sportsmen to farmers, we all lament the lack of water. The silver lining is that the fish are more concentrated.