One of the nicest things about fishing in New Mexico is the year-round season for most waters. Add the broad variety of species from panfish to trout, bass and catfish, northern pike and walleye, and you have one of the best places to fish in the nation. And don’t forget about the phenomenon of winter ice fishing in the so-called desert Southwest.
ALL persons 12 years or older, while fishing in New Mexico, must have on their person a current New Mexico fishing license. Anglers 11 years of age and younger do not need a fishing license. Resident anglers age 70 and older need a Free Fishing License available at license vendors and Department of Game and Fish (www.wildlife.state.nm.us) offices. Tribes require their own licenses to fish on reservation waters.
Out-of-state anglers must purchase an annual fishing license, a one-day license or a five-day license. The fishing license year is April 1- March 31.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (www.wildlife.state.nm.us) provides the New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information Guide, up-to-date fishing reports, stocking reports, information on special waters and answers to other pertinent questions. The fishing report is updated every Tuesday and the stocking report is updated every Friday.
A few lakes and parts of some streams are designated “Special Trout Waters,” more commonly referred to as “Quality Waters.” On most of them, only artificial flies and lures with single, barbless hooks can be used. All have restrictions on bag and possession limits. Many Indian pueblos and reservations offer public fishing, mostly for rainbow trout, some with bass or catfish.