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.
The department would like to encourage anglers to stay home, mend equipment and prepare for the upcoming fishing season. The weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, will share tips and tricks to help you be ready to go on future adventures.
This week’s report will discuss how easy it is to become an angler, and the joy, and responsibility, that comes with it.
Get into angling and being a part of the great outdoors
There is something magical about the moment someone is filled with joy while experiencing excitement of, and appreciation for, the great outdoors. A kid catching their first fish captures the quintessential embodiment of that feeling. And, it happens to adults, too.
Today, we lay out a plan for new anglers to keep it simple, have fun, catch fish and enjoy nature. Well, hopefully catch fish.
1. Buy a rod with a fishing reel you can operate. A push button cast reel can be underrated. It’s the easiest reel to use and is especially great for kids. A spin cast reel is good for pretty much any angler, and although the reel is slightly harder to learn, it is much more capable.
2. Use worms if you are a beginner. Pretty much any fish eats worms.
3. If you are going for big-mouthed fish such as bass, use a one-inch long hook. For smaller fish or fish with smaller/softer mouths such as trout or bluegill use smaller hooks, maybe use a ¼-to-½-inch long worm.
4. Bring bobbers and weights. If one does not work, try the other. If you are fishing a stream or river, you will often need neither a bobber nor weight; the weight of the baited hook is enough.
Remember that fish live off what their environment provides. Sometimes the best bait is the bait you can catch near where you are fishing. Look under rocks and logs for worms and crickets; and in grassy areas for grasshoppers. Catching natural bait is often the best bait for catching fish. And the bait is fun to catch, especially for kids.
Be respectful of the environment
In New Mexico, we have beautiful streams, rivers and lakes that we encourage people to enjoy. Part of enjoying these places is to enter, experience and not destroy. Encourage others to be stewards of the land. Lead by example. It is devastating to these locations when people show up and leave their trash.
Besides the point that leaving your trash turns an otherwise natural environment into an unsightly litter box, it passes on a terrible lesson to the next generation of outdoorsmen. It also harms wildlife. There are many wild animals that rely on our state’s limited water sources that might consume or become entrapped in leftover trash.
Lead by example and take the easy steps to haul your trash back to the city to dispose of it. Do it for your own outdoors enjoyment and the sake of everything in our great outdoors.
If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share with your fellow anglers please email Berg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/
Angler and outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.