Weekly fishing and stocking report - Dec. 15

This fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg and 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.

Catch of the Week

Bear Canyon Lake: Benjamin Abeyta of Silver City caught a 17.5-inch rainbow trout using garlic PowerBait Dec. 12.

Carlsbad Municipal Lake: Ciera Navarrette of Carlsbad caught an 18-inch rainbow trout using white PowerBait Dec. 9.

Jemez River: Grayson Baca, age 3, of Peralta caught his first trout, an 11-inch rainbow trout using salmon eggs Dec. 3.

Lake Van: Valerie Wyatt and Jennifer Rodriguez of Roswell caught two 2-pound rainbow trout using a spoon and dough bait Dec. 11.

Stubblefield Lake: Hue Gonzales, age 16, of Angel Fire caught an 18-inch walleye using a custom-tied jig in about two to five feet of water Dec. 7

If you have a catch of the week story or just want to tell us about your latest New Mexico fishing experience, send it to us at funfishingnm@gmail.com. We may include your story in our next report.

For catches of the week, include name, age, hometown, date, location, type of fish, length and weight, if possible, and bait, lure or fly used.

Tips and Tricks – Fishing the edge of the ice

With ice quickly taking over many of New Mexico’s lakes, here is one technique for fishing the transition from open water to ice.

When lakes begin to freeze over, the last place to freeze is often around the lake’s shore. This allows for one last opportunity to fish from the bank without using ice fishing gear that will be needed as the temperatures drop further. The fish, especially trout, stay active during the cold temperatures and can be found patrolling the ice edge searching for food. I have had success using two techniques (hard lure and bait) during the transition period.

1. When using a hard lure, I like to use a slow presentation so that the fish does not have to exert a lot of energy chasing my lure. They might not want to work that hard. This is a great time to use a suspending jerk bait or a slow sinking jerk bait or crankbait.

Rapala X-Rap is a highly successful suspending jerk bait that will allow you to fish the ice edge with a slow retrieve and fish-enticing action.

Rapala Countdown lures sink at the rate of 1-foot per second and are an excellent choice of lure for fishing the ice edge. This lure has caught many trout for me at Santa Cruz Reservoir.

2. When fishing the ice edge using bait, the fish could be just a foot or two below the water surface or down near the lake bottom. It is important to try identifying where in the water column the feeding fish are. It is important to try fishing at different depths until you notice a pattern. For example, you might notice you are catching more fish near the lake bottom. You would then focus your efforts fishing near the bottom and trying various baits as you hone what depth and bait combination is working best. Some of my favorite “edge of ice” baits are wax worms, Trout Magnets, salmon eggs, PowerBait and small locally caught earthworms.

Good luck and lets us know how your next fishing trip goes!

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