This fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, has been generated from the best information available from area officers and anglers. Conditions encountered after the report is compiled may differ, as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.
2020-2021 New Mexico fishing licenses are on sale, valid April 1 to March 31
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.
Wear a face covering.
Avoid interacting with large groups.
The department is continuing to adapt our ways of working to conserve wildlife for all New Mexicans. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, department biologists and conservation officers continue to conduct wildlife surveys, contact anglers and OHV recreationists and stock fish in open waters throughout the state.
Our teams are wearing personal protective equipment for everyone’s safety while working in small groups for maximum social distancing. We ask for your help to keep everyone safe and healthy by following the NMDOH public health emergency order by wearing PPE while staying at least six feet away from staff and equipment.
IN THIS WEEK’S REPORT
Dustin discusses using shrimp as catfish bait with Daryl Cypress Smith.
Catfish bait from the Seafood Aisle
Catfish abound in most New Mexico waters and are sought after by many anglers across the state. Darrell Cypress Smith, age 12, of Church Rock likes to catch them using a bait you can find in most seafood sections of any local grocery store. His secret weapon is shrimp. I have also found shrimp (cooked or uncooked) to work well for catfish. In fact, I have caught more catfish using shrimp and hotdogs than any other bait.
I deshell my shrimp before securing it onto my fishing hook. I am not sure if deshelling is necessary, but it is my personal preference. I guess my thought process works; if I were a catfish, I would prefer to consume a soft, deshelled shrimp. But catfish do eat whole crawdads, so it probably does not really matter.
My favorite setup for catching catfish is called a Slip Rig. For this setup, you first slide half of an ounce of egg sinker onto your fishing line. Then you tie on a swivel. Next, you secure an Eagle Claw Baitholder Hook to the swivel with 10 to 12-inches of leader separating the hook from the swivel. I run my hook twice through the shrimp, making sure it is on the hook securely with as little hook exposed as possible.
Any anglers willing to share their experiences, techniques or tackle, please contribute by emailing Berg at email@example.com.
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/
Consult local government websites for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.