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A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME & FISH:
As COVID-19 continues to force all of us to make changes to our daily schedule, the department would like to remind you that together we can make a difference. To help minimize the spread of the virus:
⋅ Practice social distancing.
⋅ Wash your hands regularly.
⋅ Avoid non-essential travel.
⋅ Stay healthy and safe.
In this time of change, the department encourages anglers to stay home, mend equipment and prepare for the coming fishing season. In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will be sharing tips and tricks to help you be ready to go on future adventures. Each week, we will feature some different flies, lures, activities or cooking recipes that can be done at home:
Clouser Minnow: This is an excellent fly for catching bass, walleye and pike. It is an easy fly to tie and a great starting point for beginner fly-tiers. White and chartreuse is a popular color scheme that has proved successful in many situations. The idea behind this fly is to mimic the natural baitfish/minnows found in the water you are fishing; that is often what the larger fish are eating.
Researching the type and size of baitfish/minnows found in the water you fish can increase your ability to tie a fly that resembles what your target fish species are eating. The great thing about tying your own fly is that it allows you to adjust your fly’s color, length and weight.
Making little changes can make a big difference in tricking fish into thinking your fly is a real minnow. This video will help you make a fish-catching Clouser Minnow of your own.
Fly tying equipment can be ordered online from many websites and range in price from about $30 and up. The feeling of catching a fish on a fly that you tied yourself cannot be expressed with words. The key equipment in a starter kit includes a vise, scissors, whip finisher, bobbin, bodkin, bobbin threader, hackle pliers, hair stacker, half-hitch tool and hackle gauge. Instructions on how to use these tools are usually included with the kit and are also available all over the internet.
It is a fun activity and super-rewarding when you catch a fish on a fly that you created!
Homemade dough bait for trout
You might notice in the weekly fishing reports that anglers using homemade dough baits are successful catching trout. This past winter at Lake Maloya and Tingley Beach it was a “go-to” bait for quite a few anglers. Experienced anglers know that finding the right bait at the right time requires that you have a variety of baits for the fish to choose from. Once you find the bait the fish want, it’s fish on!
Here is a simple homemade dough bait recipe for you to try and add to your arsenal next time you are out fishing.
Step 1: Melt one-quarter pound Velveeta cheese in a small microwave-safe bowl.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl mix cheese with: 1 cup flour, 2 cups water, 1 cup cornmeal, one-half cup sugar and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Mix until everything is well blended and forms a dough.
Step 3: Pinch off small portions of dough and roll them into individual balls.
Step 4: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place several dough balls in the water at a time. Boil dough balls for 1.5 minutes and then remove and place on a paper towel to dry.
It is that simple and now you have garlic cheese dough bait balls ready to catch some trout! Place the dough bait balls onto small egg-size hooks and fish with a weight and bobber. Enjoy your day fishing.
Social distancing is a challenge for all anglers; the itch to go fishing just keeps growing. But this is a time for all New Mexicans to pull together for the overall health of all our citizens and stay home. The Department reminds anglers it is their responsibility to be aware of closures and contact land managers for properties of interest when restrictions are lifted.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — blm.gov/new-mexico
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) — fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
New Mexico State Lands — nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access
New Mexico State Parks — emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD
New Mexico Open Gate Properties — wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program
New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas — wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/state-game-commission-lands/
Anglers and other outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.