Ever since I arrived in Socorro in early September, I’ve been anxiously awaiting word that Lake Escondida was stocked with trout—it wasn’t the only one.
Sunday morning, I was surfing the Internet when I realized that I hadn’t checked the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website for their most recent catch and stock reports.
Yes, they did it on November 1st, and I was already five days late.
Without leaving it aside, I went to Estany d’Escondida to check the waters. Armed with my camera, I planned to take in the sights and get some tips from the anglers.
By about 10:30 a.m., roughly two dozen people had taken up positions around the lake with mixed success.
Two anglers about to limit were Jarrod Boyce and Shawn Spivey of Socorro, who had used Power Bait and salmon eggs to fill their line. Boyce was working a fly rod in hopes of one more fish, while Spivey was using a pair of beginner fishing rods to fish the bottom with bait.
As a trout occasionally broke the water’s surface, Boyce explained that nothing catches trout more than simple patience.
“You just have to be patient and wait for the right moment and then wait some more,” Boyce said.
Spivey is new to trout fishing and quickly fell in love with the sport Boyce introduced him to last year.
“I love trout fishing. They fight hard,” Spivey said.
Our interview was interrupted by Spivey bringing in a nearly 11-inch trout that bent his ultralight rod in half. The smile on her face told me she was having a great day and it was time to visit someone else.
Across the lake, 11-year-old Los Lunas resident Isaiah Lujan matched the size of Spivey’s fish and landed it right after he said, “If you catch one, I’ll take a picture of you.”
His smile also matched Spivey’s smile.
Trout fishing can be as complicated as you want to make it, but more often than not, the real fun happens when you simply hook the fish with worms, power/mass baits, or minnows. Like bank fishing for catfish, it’s not very expensive until you start adding it to your collection.
The key to successful trout bait fishing is light tackle. You don’t need a 10-pound-test line and half-ounce weights. Use barrel weights and a sliding swivel so the line slides through the weight and the fish doesn’t feel it.
A fishing line of 2-4 pounds of strength with an adequately adjusted drag will catch most fish. I have landed an 8.4-pound rainbow on a 4-pound test line so I know it can be done.
Remember, a 10-pound trout will take a fly the size of an ant, so they have a sensitive mouth and can feel the 2-3 BB weights you have pressed into your line.
If you have that youngster who needs to constantly check his bait because he knows he’s getting a bite (they don’t), you can turn to lures like mousetails, Kastmasters, and spinners like the Panther Martin.
These are simple trout lures that are not difficult to maintain and work well for younger anglers looking to feel the thrill of hitting a fish.
To be safe, put the child about ten meters from the bank of his siblings to avoid emergency trips to the hospital to remove hooks.
Parents should be warned that once their child hooks a trout while lure fishing, there will be desired additions to the tackle box, lots of them.
I’d tell you more, but I just took a bite.