Magazine article Sunset

Hook Up with Big Striped Bass

Magazine article Sunset

Hook Up with Big Striped Bass

Article excerpt

Near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

NEW MEXICO'S 35-MILE-long Elephant Butte Reservoir, a 3-hour drive south of Albuquerque, is currently one of the West's fishing meccas for striped bass. November through January is the peak season for stripers, and anglers have a good chance of landing a trophy or two.

Striped bass were once found mainly on the East Coast. Around 1976, they were introduced into Elephant Butte Reservoir as 3-inch-long fingerlings. A decade later, many had reached weights of 40 pounds or more, and by 1992 stripers in excess of 50 pounds were being taken from the lake. Today, pursuit of these hefty, hard-fighting fish has become one of the most popular activities here among anglers of all ages.

Catching striped bass isn't especially difficult for properly equipped anglers. Stripers usually feed on threadfin shad in deep water away from shore, so a boat is an absolute necessity (boats with outboards can be rented at the lake). Fishing rods, reels, and monofilament lines should be suited for medium to heavy action. …

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