By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors
The State Game and Fish Department continued to stock more bigger-than-average rainbow trout last week in selected waters around Northern New Mexico. Because streamflows remain very low for this time of year and the water temperatures in lakes are at an optimum point for both trout and warmwater species, now is a great time to go fishing.
Lots of nice trout and increasing numbers of bass and walleye are being landed by anglers.
The fishing for smallmouth bass at Abiquiu Lake was good and the bass are cruising in shallow water. They will soon be spawning and if you can find areas where they are making their beds you could hook into some big smallmouths this time of year. The fishing for walleye has been fair-to-good.
Early morning and evening hours will likely be the best time to fish for walleye because they are sensitive to bright sunlight. During the bright daylight hours the walleye will hang out in deeper water. As always, you may hook into a nice brown or rainbow trout at Abiquiu while fishing for bass and walleye.
El Vado Lake has been very good for smallmouth bass. Smallmouths prefer rocky areas and the best fishing has been near the dam. Fishing for brown and rainbow trout has been good.
The bank fishing for rainbow trout remains good at Heron Lake.
The fishing in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam and El Vado Dam remains pretty slow because of the heavy releases of water from beneath the Dams.. The best fishing will be found on the upper Chama River above El Vado Lake. A good place to try is below Heron Dam. Remember, from the outlet of Heron Lake upstream 2.9 miles is limited to artificial flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. The limit is two fish 16 inches or longer. Below the outlet down to El Vado Lake, you may use any fishing method.
There is also a public fishing area on the Chama River just below the town of Chama. This area is where most of the stocking takes place. It was stocked May 7 with 700 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been good at Laguna del Campo, a small and well-stocked lake near Los Ojos. If you’re lucky, you may get to see ospreys at Laguna del Campo and maybe even see them pluck a trout from its waters. The fishing here is for anglers 15 years old and younger and 65 years old and older.
The Nutrias Lakes, better known as the Trout Lakes to most locals, near Cebolla were stocked May 7 with 450 rainbow trout. There were no reports from here but since they have been stocked anglers should start fishing here.
In the Jemez Mountains area, the fishing remains very good at Fenton Lake for rainbow and brown trout. Just about any method you wish to use will catch fish at Fenton. If you’d like to try for browns, nightcrawlers, flies or spinners will work.
The nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond, which is reserved for kids 12-and-under, has been good and was stocked May 9 with 200 rainbow trout. There are some nice browns here too.
The streams in the Jemez Mountains were stocked last week and the fishing has been good. The Rio Cebolla, which flows into and below Fenton Lake, was stocked May 9 with 826 rainbow trout. The Jemez River was stocked May 9 with 804 rainbow trout. The Rio San Antonio near La Cueva was stocked May 9 with 750 rainbow trout. All these streams also contain wild brown trout.
The fishing at Hopewell Lake near Tres Piedras has been fair-to-good. The Department stocked 1,700 rainbow trout averaging about 10 inches here May 8 and added another 185 rainbow trout averaging over 16 inches. Hopewell also has a nice population of wild brook trout.
There were no reports from the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. The fishing here should be at least good if not very good for brown and rainbow trout.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been good for rainbow and brown trout. The fishing has been good both from the bank and from boats.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande increased slightly last week, but is still very low for this time of year. The fishing remains very good, especially for fly fishermen. Rainbow trout, brown trout and smallmouth bass are all being caught.
These low water conditions have been great for anglers, but bad news for rafting companies.
A nice way to spend an afternoon would be stopping for lunch at Sugars near Embudo for some of their great burgers or barbecue when fishing the Rio Grande.
The tributaries of the Rio Grande are running very low. The Rio Pueblo near Penasco has been stocked with thousands of fish, but there have been no reports from here. Find out where these fish were stocked and you’ll likely limit out quickly, as the low water will concentrate them in deep pools.
The Red River near Questa has been fair-to-good. Eagle Rock Lake in the same area has also been stocked and should be at least fair. There were no reports from Cabresto Lake. The fishing here is for wild brook trout and even a few cutthroat trout. Great eating.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout. One lucky angler fishing with Power Bait hooked a 41-inch northern pike that weighed over 20 pounds. No reports on the perch fishing, but it might be good with worms.
The Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Lake received a heavy stockings of a total of 2,425 rainbow trout. This stream also contains wild brown trout. The Gravel Pit Lakes were stocked last week with 355 rainbow trout, including 45 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches.
If you are in Cimarron, stop by the Cree-Mee Drive-In. They have very good green chile cheeseburgers.
Maxwell Lake 13 has been good for rainbow trout and they’ve been catching some 20-inchers here. To get to the Maxwell Lakes, take Highway 64 north out of Cimarron towards Raton. The turnoff to Maxwell Lakes is just before the Colfax Tavern. A restaurant literally in the middle of nowhere with good pizza and cold beer. On the way to the Maxwell Lakes, you will pass by Stubblefield Lake. I have never fished here. The fishing for walleye and largemouth bass is supposed to be fair-to-good. Next time I’m in this part of the country, I may give it a try. The state-record channel catfish was caught here.
The fishing at Lake Alice and Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been good, especially at Lake Maloya. There are some nice fish here. Sugarite Cannyon will be hosting its annual fishing derby May 26-June 3 and some big fish will likely be stocked in anticipation of this event. For information about the Fishing Derby, call (575).445.5607.
The fishing at the Charette Lakes has been good for nice-sized trout and there are also yellow perch here. Morphy Lake State Park has been good but the water is low here. Only hand-launched boats are allowed. Storrie Lake State Park was stocked May 9 with 3,036 rainbow trout. There are also catfish in Storrie Lake which should start biting soon.
The Pecos River is running low and clear. The fishing, especially the fly fishing, has been very good. The Pecos was stocked withnearly 2,600 rainbow trout last week. There are also wild brown trout in the Pecos River. A tributary of the Pecos, the Mora-Pecos River, was stocked with 400 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked May 9 with 190 rainbow trout averaging over 16 inches in length. The fishing has been good. The Cowles Ponds, also called the Mountain View Ponds, were stocked with 20 rainbow trout , also averaging over 16 inches in length.
Over in the Four Corners, Lake Farmington was stocked May 7 with 2,508 rainbow trout. There are also largemouth bass and catfish here. A near-record 35-pound catfish was caught last week.
Navajo Lake has been good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The crappie are starting to bite and the fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good. You might soon try night fishing for trout here or for catfish.
The streamflows on the San Juan River below Navajo Dam have fluctuated and so has the fishing in the Quality Waters.
A 31-inch, 20 pound brown trout was recently caught and released in the Quality Waters. The Bait Waters have been fair-to-good for trout.
The fishing for crappie has been good at Cochiti Lake. The bass fishing has been fair and they are catching a few northern pike and walleye. The catfishing has been good and is likely better towards evening and at night.
The trout fishing is about over at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque, although it still remains fair-to-good in the Catch-and-Release Pond. Catfishing will be your best bet here as the water warms up.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been very good for white bass. It’s been good for largemouth and smallmouth bass with some big largemouth bass being caught. The catfishing has been good. Walleye and crappie fishing has been fair.