Thursday, July 11, 2019

Shady Lakes Still the Place to Fish in Albuquerque

One of the bass ponds at Shady Lakes where plenty of largemouth bass lurk under the lily pads.
Shady Lakes in Albuquerque’s north valley is still a great place for kids to learn to fish or for more experienced anglers to stalk bass.

The private ponds offer largemouth bass, bluegill and trout fishing under the shade of mature cottonwood trees and in the shadow of the nearby Sandia Mountains

The scenic setting is made all that more eye pleasing this time of year by the abundance of colorful blooms dotting the water lilies blanketing the bass ponds.

The Phillips family has been operating the fishing preserve since 1952 when former Albuquerque advertising salesman, Jim Phillips, bought the former bait fish farm and converted it to a private fishing park.

Ron Joseph "RJ" Annichiarico, 67, of Rio Rancho shows off a nice largemouth bass he was caught while fishing at Shady Lakes. 
Guests do not need a state issued license to fish at Shady Lakes. Anglers pay $11.95 a day for catch and release bass fishing while angling for trout costs $8.95 for adults and $6.95 for children under the age of 12. All trout caught must be kept at a cost of .75 cents per inch.

The park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the season from spring through fall.

Jill Mikles, 66, took over management of the park from her sister Jan who left several years ago following a long stint at the helm. The park continues to operate while remaining available for sale with an asking price of $2.5 million.

Mikles said the fishing ponds will receive a fresh supply of young bass this summer along with a
large quantity of panhead minnows that they prey upon. Trout are re-supplied as needed on an ongoing basis.

During a recent visit a grandmother could be seen helping a passel of kids bait up their hooks and providing sage angling advice. 

Kids have been learning to fish at Shady Lakes for generations.
Other anglers waited in the shade of the overhanging trees for a bite from one of the largemouth bass lurking under the lily pads.

Still others lounged in camp chairs enjoying a cold drink while watching the ever-present groups of children playing around the park.

After more than fifty years Shady Lakes is still one of the Albuquerque area’s best family friendly, outdoor recreational destinations that should be enjoyed while it still exists.


Shady Lakes is at 11033 Hwy 313 NW just across the road from the Sandia Pueblo Roadrunner train station near the  roundabout at the intersection of Second and Fourth Streets and Roy Ave.

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