Ben and Kathy Newton from Logan own Ute Lake Fish N Fun bait shop. Courtesy photo
In this time of change, the Department would like to encourage anglers to continue COVID safe practices; it is a great time to mend equipment, stock tackle boxes and prepare for upcoming fishing trips.
In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will continue to share tips and tricks to help you be ready and to safely go on your next adventure.
In this week’s fishing report, Dustin shares fish recipes from angler friends around the state.
Fried Fish Fillets
Fillet fish and remove bones. Keep meat cold and on ice as soon as the fish are removed from the lake, if possible. Keeping fish cold is critical in reducing the “fishy” taste.
Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. You want to use enough flour to thoroughly coat your fish. Use salt and pepper to your liking.
Coat fish in flour, salt and pepper mixture.
Fill a pan or electric deep fryer with enough peanut oil to submerge fish fillets. Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Submerge prepared fish fillets in heated oil and let cook. Use less oil if cooking in a pan to avoid potentially hazardous spilling.
When they float, they’re done. The fillets should rise to the oil’s surface after just a few minutes. They should be crispy, flaky and delicious.
Marcus McCoy, from Albuquerque, is a native New Mexican who enjoys fishing small streams for trout. His trout salad recipe is great by itself or as a meal. Courtesy photo
Fillet trout, leaving one side of the fillet with the skin on.
Lightly brush both sides of the fillet with olive oil.
On the meat side of fillet, brush on a light coat of butter and seasoning. You can use any seasoning you prefer. (Leonard likes to use garlic salt and Lawry’s seasoned salt.)
Heat grill to ¾ heat. Not burning hot but above medium.
Spread aluminum foil across grill so that fish does not meet direct flame.
Place fillets on aluminum foil and cook with the grill lid closed.
Check fillets every 3 to 4 minutes and cook to your liking. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. Between 5 and 12 minutes of cooking is how most people prefer their fish cooked.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of cooked fillets just before eating.
Ken Howell, from Albuquerque, owner of Reel Deal Charter, specializes in catching kokanee salmon. His Blackened Kokanee Salmon Recipe is simple. Courtesy photo
Use deboned cooked trout for Marcus’s recipe. You can cook the trout how ever you like for this recipe (boiled, grilled, baked, fried, etc. to your liking).
1 Cup cooked trout
1/4 Cup onion finely diced
1/4 Cup celery finely diced
1/4 Cup diced pickle
2 radishes diced
3/4 Cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro or dill minced
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
Turn ingredients in a bowl with a spoon or spatula until mixed thoroughly. Use as a sandwich filling, salad topper or atop crackers as an hors d’oeuvres.
Blackened Kokanee Salmon
- Fillet fish, removing bones and skin from both sides.
- Rub a little olive oil on both sides of fillet.
- Cover both sides of fillet with blackened seasoning of your preference.
- Heat grill to hot.
- Grill fillets for two minutes on each side.
- Cooking the fish fast and hot is the trick to this recipe.
Paul Camino, from Mayhill, is an avid hunter and fisherman who practices sustainable harvesting. He likes to deep fry catfish and has a few tips for you. Courtesy photo
Deep Fried Catfish
First, you want to prepare your catfish by removing the skin, bones and entrails. Here is a video on how to prepare you catfish for cooking.
Clean fish meat thoroughly.
Paul likes to cook whole catfish that are 14-inches and smaller. Larger catfish are filleted as demonstrated in the video in step 1.
Season fish to liking using a combination of flour, garlic salt and pepper. Catfish that are being cooked whole are scored, prior to seasoning, by making 5 to 6 cuts on each side of the fish.
Pour vegetable oil into a deep flyer and heat. Use enough oil to completely submerge fish.
Deep fry fish until crispy and make sure fish is cooked all the way through.
Serve with tartar source, or, as Paul prefers, with your own homemade sauce.
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. If two out of 10 people leave their trash, and 500 people visit the area, it equals a lot of nasty waste left in the outdoors. There are many wild animals that rely on our state’s limited water sources that might consume or become entrapped in leftover trash. These animals die from such negative overlaps in culture. Think of them. Think of the people who look up to you.
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.
Learn more about Leave No Trace here.
If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share with your fellow anglers as we wait out the current restrictions, please email Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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) – https://www.blm.gov/new-mexico
- U.S. Forest Service (USFS) – https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
- New Mexico State Lands – https://www.nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/
- New Mexico State Parks – http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/
- New Mexico Open Gate Properties – http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/
- New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas – http://www.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.