Elephant Butte Lake – Revisited

Update from Gale Carr on Elephant Butte Lake.


Cajun Waters

Fishing From the Border to the Bayou Growing up in the West Texas desert, my fishing options were limited to irrigation canals and a small stream which was once the Rio


Fishing Falcon

Falcon Lake is by far the place where I have caught the best, big, black bass.  It is also a lake on the Texas-Mexico border.  It is split down the middle by buoys that delineate the US side and the Mexico side.  Because of this, I suggest that everyone in the boat has a Mexican fishing license.  There is no arguing once the authorities on the other side have you stopped.  If you are along in the boat, you are fishing.  If you stay on the US side you don’t have to worry about it.  I just always get one to avoid the worry and hassle.

The Mexican side of Falcon has a submerged town in it – Old Guerrero. It makes for some incredible pictures.  There is a church complete with cemetery that are flooded.  I will share photos soon, as the view is stunning!

The fishing here is what is truly stunning!  The last trip we took to Falcon went like this.  We arrived late after a 13.5  hour drive to get there (we started close to El Paso, so we had to cross most of the state).  Although tired, we could hardly sleep with the anticipation of the great fishing.

Day one started at about 4 am and ended at about 6 pm.  In that time, we casted every color, shape, and size of plastic bait known to man (maybe an exaggeration, but not by much).  If you’ve ever fished with me, you know I even take the kitchen sink.  (“Be Prepared,” has stayed with me since boy scouts.).  We got completely skunked!  Nothing, Nada, Zilch… How could this be?  We stopped at the local tackle shop after loading up the boat.  The gentleman there asked about our day and explained to us that it was not a good time to use plastics on Falcon.  How could this be?  Not use plastics for black bass?  He told us to use crankbaits in a coloration of a gizzard shad or in chartreuse.  We purchased some deep diver and square bill baits and were set for the next try.

Day two was not like day one at all.  I casted a few times at the boat ramp as I waited for my partner to park the truck.  Caught one.  Pulled away from the ramp area and the games began.  We caught many fish.  In a 5 hour period, we caught 12 fish that were larger than 5 lbs.  The largest one was 8 lbs. 2 oz.  The gar were a bit of a problem because when the fish would start biting and fighting when hooked, they would be attracted and run off the fish.  We hooked a 5 ft. gar on these miracle crankbaits that completely bit the bait in half.

Day three was just as good as day 2.  We even had a 1.5 lb. black jump in the boat while were untangling a stray cast.  Right at the end of the day we decided to fish under the submerged bridge.  We caught an eight lb. blue catfish in about 15 min.  This lake is incredible.  Go to  Falcon and try your hand at some of the best black bass fishing I have ever had the chance to do.




081107_11001 2-88A436E2-1492342-800Del Rio, Texas is on the US-Mexico border.  Lake Amistad is actually half in the US and half in Mexico.  It is split down the middle with marker buoys to let you know where the international line is.  I have fished; this lake for a good 20 years and have never had any trouble.  There are a few things you must know when you fish Amistad.  First, if you are going to fish the Mexican side, you must purchase a Mexican fishing license.  They are annual from the date of purchase.  This is different from many licenses that are for a hunting or fishing season in many states.  Secondly, everyone n the boat is a fisherman on the Mexican side of the lake.  No one can say they are there to enjoy the day, take pictures, or just drive the boat.  1 person = 1 license, 10 people = 10 licenses.  Do not, I repeat, Do not take any type of firearm to the Mexican side.  Make sure there are no bullets or spent shell in you boat.  There is no tolerance for US citizens in this respect.  You are there to fish.  You don’t need the hassle.  This lake is a big water lake.  The lake can get rough in the wind. please plan accordingly.

The fishing at Amistad is great even when it is slow.  The lake is very big and you can get away from other fishermen quite easily.  Amistad was listed last year as the place to go by Bass Master Magazine.  It had dropped a few slots this year but is still definitely one of the best lakes to fish in the nation.  On any given weekend there is a great chance that there is a tournament going on.  Fishing pros are a common site in Del Rio and on the lake.

The fish make this lake what it is.  You have to find them each time you go to the lake.  When you do, it is game on.  Many a big fish is caught every day on this lake.  I know I tend to focus on the black bass, but there are many types of fish on this lake.  Catfish come in channel, blue and flathead.  Crappie, white bass, bluegill, perch, smallmouth bass, and stripers are all in abundance on this lake.  Water is typically pretty clear with a light stain in bad weather or wind.